Piper was commissioned as a war artist during the Second World War, painting the ‘Home Front’. In this capacity he made a series of paintings of bombed buildings including St Mary le Port which was hit in the attacks on Bristol Docks in November 1940.
St Mary le Port, Bristol
Date of work
Oil paint and graphite on canvas on wood 76.2 x 63.5 cm Tate. Presented by the War Artists Advisory Committee 194
A significant British twentieth-century artist, John Piper is known for his poetic depictions of the British landscape. Born in Epsom, Surrey, Piper began studying art in 1927 at The Richmond College of Art and then at the Royal College of Art. His early work reflected the trend for abstraction and was influenced by his frequent trips to Paris where he befriended the artist Alexander Calder. He worked across an extraordinary range of disciplines including designs for stained glass and theatre sets yet his powerful and romantic paintings of the British landscape are considered his most iconic work.